Assisted living is the next step up from independent living, providing a more supervised level of care. Typically, residents pay a monthly base fee that includes housing, meals, housekeeping, utilities, and transportation services.
Be prepared to ask a lot of questions when touring assisted living facilities. Encourage family members to take tours, too, to compare notes.
A primary concern for many seniors and their families is the cost of assisted living in Saint Petersburg, FL. It’s important to remember that these communities typically charge a base fee for room and board, which covers things like housekeeping, laundry, meals, and transportation services.
Many facilities also offer additional services for a separate fee, including on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy. They may also include an emergency alert system in each apartment.
Seniors may also want to consider if they have long-term care insurance, which could cover some or all of the costs associated with assisted living. However, it’s important to know that most policies have a 90-day elimination period for paying out-of-pocket expenses before they can be used. As a result, it’s important to plan and shop around for the best prices.
Levels of Care
If a loved one is struggling to bathe, dress, and navigate home chores without assistance, or you are worried about their safety at home, it might be time to consider assisted living.
Seniors who require the lowest level of care typically live at a facility rated as Level One. These individuals need assistance with a few activities of daily living, such as bathing and remembering to take their medications, but can still manage other aspects of their lives.
The next level of care is Level Two, which involves hands-on assistance with ADLs such as bathing and dressing. These seniors may also need help managing their medications or mobility issues. They could also suffer from cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Many assisted living communities offer medication management services. These may include medication reminders, dispensing, and monitoring of daily dosages. On-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy are also frequently available for residents to help with mobility issues and to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.
While some people move to assisted living because they are struggling with the upkeep of their homes, others seek the social connection and amenities that come with this type of senior housing. In addition to meals and activities, these communities offer 24/7 security systems, gated access, and a variety of living spaces, including private apartments and bedrooms.
Typically, residents pay for their assisted living costs from personal funds or limited coverage by long-term care insurance. Individuals on Medicaid and with assets in excess of the program limit might want to consider working with a Medicaid planning professional to explore creative ways to structure their finances to qualify for this type of senior care.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Assessing your loved one’s ability to do essential daily living tasks (ADLs) and instrumental daily living tasks (IADLs) is crucial, regardless of whether you’re considering long-term care insurance, home care, or assisted living. Eating, brushing, dressing, and bathing are a few of these.
A doctor or occupational therapist should conduct these assessments, which are usually provided free of charge at local Area Agencies on Aging. They also serve as the basis for determining eligibility for government assistance programs such as the VA Aid and Attendance pension.
ADL assessments can clearly indicate when someone needs help with their day-to-day activities. But, many seniors are reluctant to admit they need assistance. Some signs your loved one may need help include eating changes, a noticeable weight loss or gain, and poor hygiene.
An aging adult may need to move to assisted living when they can’t longer safely live at home alone. They may need help with tasks like bathing and dressing but don’t require the level of round-the-clock health care provided by a nursing home.
By enabling friends or family to take a vacation from their duties, respite care offers main caregivers some reprieve. This kind of care can be obtained in long-term residential care facilities, at home, through community programs (like adult day care), and through some commercial businesses.
Most families pay for respite care out of pocket or through their long-term care insurance. Some states also have waiver programs that may help low-income seniors pay for this service. It’s important to know your options and plan.